Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Voting groups fear Texas legislation will be even harsher than Georgia’s

Local advocacy groups, big business and former presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke are fighting a pair of Texas voting bills they brand as suppressive, each of which could pass the Republican-controlled legislature as soon as next week.

Why it matters: Advocates say Texas' pending changes are worse than those that recently caused an uproar and boycotts in Georgia. The fight comes as the Texas population is rapidly growing and diversifying — and turning more Democratic.

  • "So much of what we learned about Georgia, we learned after it was too late," O'Rourke told Axios. "In Texas, if there's anything positive about the situation, it's that we could still win this."

Driving the news: Republicans have the political muscle to pass the provisions whenever they want. "Hands down something is going to get passed," Chris Hollins, a former Harris County clerk who opposes the bills, told Axios.

  • Democrats and groups like Texas Freedom Network and the ACLU are ramping up the pressure. After seeing the outrage from big business over the Georgia bill, groups are trying to get major companies to speak out and force Republicans to back off.
  • Texas is already considered to be one of the most restrictive voting states. It saw the highest voter turnout in 30 years in 2020 but came in 44th of the 50 states for turnout rate, according to data from Elect Project.

What to watch: American Airlines and Dell Technologies have already come out against the bills.

  • Advocates have been pressuring other Texas-based companies to get on board, and they expect to see more speak out in the coming days.

Details: The bills in the Texas Senate and House would end 24-hour and drive-thru voting — options that were disproportionately used by voters of color last year, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project.

  • They also would add criminal penalties for election officials who send out applications to vote by mail to voters who had not requested them and would provide more access for partisan poll watchers.
  • The changes would especially impact more progressive Texas cities, the New York Times reported.
  • The sweeping legislation has been pushed by Texas House Elections Committee Chairman Briscoe Cain — who drove to Pennsylvania to help the Trump campaign fight the 2020 election results.

The state of play: The House bill — HB-6 — is already out of committee and could make it to the floor as soon as next week.

  • The Senate bill — SB7 — was passed at the start of this month. It is now expected to be voted on in committee in the House as soon as Thursday evening after Cain brought it up at the last minute, Charlie Bonner, communications director for the nonpartisan advocacy group MOVE Texas, told Axios.
  • Republicans also have a flurry of duplicative, piecemeal bills ready to roll if the bigger packages fail.

The other side: Texas Republicans have pushed the legislation, saying that it will normalize voting across the state.

  • In response to American Airlines' opposition to the Senate bill, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a statement, saying, "The majority of Texas supports maintaining the integrity of our elections. ... Senate Bill 7 includes comprehensive reforms that will ensure voting in Texas is consistent statewide and secure."
  • Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement: “Texas is protecting the number of early voting days, which is longer than allowed in states like New York and Delaware. And, we are extending hours for early voting."
  • "Also, Texas ensures that voting by mail is protected from fraud, which is important."

Israel to continue Gaza operation, officials rule out cease-fire for now

The Israeli security cabinet on Sunday decided to continue the Gaza operation, according to military plans. Israeli officials said a cease-fire is not on the table right now.

Why it matters: There was a growing feeling within the military and senior defense establishment ahead of the cabinet meeting that Israel should start moving toward ending the operation.

Keep reading... Show less

Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican, told ABC's "This Week" that she regrets voting for former President Trump in 2020, although she could never have supported Biden.

Why it matters: Cheney, voted out of House Republican leadership over her repeated condemnation of Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud, plans to challenge the former president for ideological dominance of the GOP.

Keep reading... Show less

Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

Keep reading... Show less


Consumers and retailers alike are still trying to figure out what Americans will want to wear as they head back out into the world after a year at home, in sweatpants.

Why it matters: The choices people make about their post-pandemic wardrobes will help define what, exactly, our “new normal” is. They'll indicate how both work and socializing have changed, and will tell the story of how people expressed themselves in the aftermath of a year of massive transformation.

Keep reading... Show less

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as Netanyahu vows to continue strikes

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

Keep reading... Show less

In photos: Protesters rally across U.S. and the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and report.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Keep reading... Show less

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories